Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Putting feet to faith

My heart is at times so heavy over the violence occurring in Israel and Iraq, and the plague in West Africa.

To be honest I know that none of this is really new. Violence and destruction has been occurring in these areas for some time. But it does seem to be increasing, or at least getting better media coverage.

But for some reason this time around it has really stricken me.

I just went and got my healthy baby out of her crib after a long nap in a dim air conditioned room that she shares with no one. She asked for milk and I simply had to pour some from a jug conveniently located in our fridge. She asked for lunch and told me she wanted corn. I had to but open our pantry and all her wants and needs were supplied. I can take her to church anytime I want and no one wants to hurt us because of that.

When I hear about innocent children sleeping on the ground, being bitten by insects, in the raging heat, with little to no food and water, and becoming ill, sometimes to the point of death, because of their lack, it just hurts me. To think there is a mother dying inside because her child is asking for food and water, and she has none to give, it makes my insides die a little too.

I have hardly anything compared to some, but I have almost everything compared to most.

So today I shared some of my almost everything, by giving to help in the Middle East conflict through Samaritan's Purse. I know they're also helping in Africa with the Ebola outbreak and I'm sure they're helping in Israel too.

Most of my life, being brutally honest, I've wanted the Lord to tarry. I wanted to grow up, be married, have children. I still want to see Sophia grow up. I want to have more children. I want to live and enjoy life. But more than that, I want peace. I want heaven on earth. I truly now know that Christ's return is the best thing I can hope for. Until then I will pray for strength for the journey for those who are in such turmoil. I will help. But dear Lord, if you're listening, come quickly.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Sunday afternoon naps

I'm the only one in the family not taking one today. Although now that it's too late to start, I kinda wish I had taken one.

So when I ran out of Downton Abbey episodes to watch, my thoughts turned to my little red-headed step child of a blog. Of course Sophia decided immediately to try and wake up early from her nap, but after replacing her lost pacifier and a bit of rocking and soothing, she's fast asleep again.

I think of so many blog topics, but I never write them down and so when I actually sit down to write, all I can think of is updates of what's been going on in our lives, rather than witty observations on current events or deep soulful outpourings of thought.

Sophia continues to amaze and entertain us daily. She is active and spunky. Her poor little legs look like I've abused her with all her bruises and scrapes from running into things and falling down. Her beautiful skin tone deepens with every trip outside. For now, she's almost a blonde-haired brown-eyed girl. In the back where her hair is thicker it's more brown, but her wispy tufts at the top are definitely golden in she sunlight. She also now likes to have her toenails polished. She will sit still while I do it. Yay for me!

John continues to work on the shaved ice truck. Believe it or not July and August are two of their slowest months (especially as far as neighborhood sales) because it is so hot, people are not outdoors much. They do still have events booked, so it's not terrible. He likes his job. Recently he completed all the testing to get into the Radiography program at our local college. The classes do not start until next summer and technically it's already full, but he is on the alternate list and the adviser feels almost certain he will get in as very rarely does everyone who's qualified follow-through with actually starting the program. I'm trying not to be anxious about him being an alternate. If for some reason he couldn't get in and we had to wait until summer 2016, I just don't know what we'd do. It seems like we've waited so long already.

I continue to work 3 days a week. As it is with all jobs, our duties at work continue to expand. There's always more I's to dot and more T's to cross. Sometimes we just have to nod and smile, while knowing that realistically, not everything they want done can be done. I still like my job :) I had an opportunity to take on the same type of job in another company, but for now I turned it down. As long as my job has hours for me, I think I'll stay put. We are fully staffed and looking at possibly hiring 2 more full time workers. That doesn't particularly bode well for me, but I won't fret about what hasn't happened yet. This year our company employees got merit raises based on a formula calculated from our annual review scores. I got a stellar review and may have gotten the maximum raise percentage, but because I'm "as needed" staff, I'm not eligible for a merit raise :( My boss was honest that our company wants all their as needed staff to come on full time staff. Oh well, I don't want to do that. So I'll just keep my same pay rate. If in time that really starts to irk me, I can negotiate for a raise or look elsewhere.

For a minute I thought "Well forget doing a great job if it doesn't get you anywhere". But then I remembered "And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as unto the Lord and not to men". So I'll continue to do my best.

We're also going through a bit of change in our church life. Long story short, our church does not have a Pastor right now. I'm not sure if they're looking for another one just yet or just taking time to regroup. We've been having guest pastors fill-in for now. The whole situation has been painful and saddening for us. I learned from John that even prior to this, he'd been considering/feeling that it might be time for us to move on. I was surprised to hear this. As with most big change at first I felt nervous and resistant to the change. But now that I've had time to process it, I'm ready, and maybe even a little excited. I will be sad to leave our current congregation and feel a bit guilty about it to be honest. But I'm also hopeful that our next church family will be a place where we grow and share even more than we did where we currently are.

I know that the primary function of a church is not socialization or even good works. The primary function is to glorify and worship God. But one of the many other functions is the fellowship of believers. We really only have one couple at our current church that we are in fellowship with. There are 3 other couples in our age range there, but none that we have "clicked" with. It is hard to start and maintain friendships when there isn't some common gathering time and place, besides the actual church service. I think we are hoping our new church home will have some groups geared toward younger married couples, with or without children.

John and I have also been taking on a new fitness program for the last month. It is a 60-day challenge through Beach Body fitness. John's mom has recently become a Beach Body coach after doing her first challenge, and graciously provided for us to try it. Part of the challenge includes drinking Shakeology. It's seriously the best protein powder drink I've ever tasted. It's still no Chick-fil-a milkshake, but for all the protein and nutrients in it, it tastes pretty darn good. I'll be sad once our 3 month program is over, because there's a reason it tastes so good, and it's high quality ingredients. So it's also high money. I mean, really high money. And we may be the exception, but we've had a lot of confusion and frustration with the customer service and product side of Beach Body. For the amount you're paying, a lot of their online system is archaic and it's very easy for them to make mistakes. But for now everything is supposedly straightened out.

We are looking forward to more family visits this summer. My dad came, John's mom is coming, and hopefully John's dad also. Sophia and I went and saw my mom a few weeks ago. She did pretty well on her first plane ride.

We are also hopefully doing ISR lessons when a convenient time slot becomes available. I've seen and heard amazing things, and I'll be sure to let you know how that goes!

Of course I can't post without sharing a least one Sophia photo. So here's one of my recent favorites.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Sophia is 18 months!

No, I promise I won't be one of those "She's 29 months old" people. In fact I'm excited that for the next few months I can say "She's 1 and a half".

Life with Sophia is so much fun. John and I love watching this little human learn the world.
Life with Sophia is also tiring. There's a lot of things to teach and protect a little human from when they're learning the world.

Right now Sophia is learning to sing. It's so cute. The three songs she tries to sing mostly are "ABC's" "Twinkle Twinkle" and "My God is so Big," a song they sing in her Sunday School class.

She's also a bit of a daredevil. She loves to swim and often wants "down" while in the pool or ocean. Today we took her in the bay where the water is calm, and she had no problem walking away from me right into the water, all the way up to her chin and often past that. She is not happy to be in her baby float either, she wants full use of her arms to splash and move, and that ring around her just gets in the way!
I tried a Puddle Jumper on her, but she is still a little too small for that. She couldn't really move her arms at all and just stood in the living room crying.

Sophia is pretty good at walking, and can even do small stairs. She still needs a hand to hold on bigger steps. She's pretty good at walking in the sand and in the water. She still can't make the whole way to the ocean alone, it's too tiring. She can walk pretty fast, but still isn't full on running yet.

We had our first ER visit this quarter. Sophia was throwing a tantrum in the store, and apparently when I took her hand and tried to get her to stand up, her radius popped out of the socket. Unfortunately for her I didn't realize this for about 2 hours. Thankfully the hospital I work at has about a zero wait most of the time, so we were seen quickly. After triage, getting to a room, and then the nurse assessment, she started acting totally fine and using her arm again. The PA told us about Nursemaid's Elbow and how it probably reduced on it's own. Apparently it's pretty easy to reduce manually also. So two days later when it happened again at home (while trying to put on the blasted Puddle Jumper) I reduced it myself. And now we are very careful with Sophia's arms. :)

Did you catch above that she hurt her arm during a tantrum? Yeah, she's got a quick temper. Fortunately I read that is pretty common. She will scream and cry at the drop of a hat over the most random things. At home I just ignore it. In public it's not so fun. I know I'm supposed to keep my cool, but that's very hard. I try to play the distraction game without giving in to the fit. Tantrums are neither of our finest moments.

The amount of information this kid takes in everyday is amazing. Literally she learns a new word every day. She's quite the mockingbird. I decided to keep track for the last 2 months of all the words she uses or repeats easily, and the total as of June 1st is 190. And since my mom didn't believe me I'll list them all
:) And I didn't count twice for phrases that involve the same word in more than one.

Names: Mama, Papa, Mimi, MawMaw, Grammy, Hali, Jeff, Ben, Coco, Eby, Ernie (she says his name again now!), Sophie, Madison, Dora, Dale, Emma, Mike, Connor, George, Graycie, Tonya, Jesus.

Numbers/Colors: One, two, three, yellow. And she will count 123 on her own.

Commands: Please, thank you, you're welcome, up, down, come, hush, ok, yay, uh-oh, byebye, hi, hey, hello, no, ok, careful, night-night, off, clean up.

Foods: Cracker, cookie, apple, nana, milk, juice, water, chicken, bacon, baba, broccoli, yogurt, ice, egg, cheese, breakfast, bite, orange, coffee, mango, pepper, potato, candy.

Animals: Puppy, doggy, ruff-ruff, bird, owl, monkey, bunny, rabbit, froggy, zebra, bug, snail, lion, giraffe, turtle, kitty-cat.

Clothes: Socks, shoes, boots, diaper, paci, dress, hat, necklace, earrings, pants, glasses.

Body parts: Nose, toes, button, feet, booboo, hair, teeth, fingers, eye, ears, arms, legs, hands (and she can point to all of these).

General: Fire, poo-poo, Amen, pretty, hot, cold, what, book, raining, phone, baby, ball, bath, shower, outside, coming, sunshine, light, chair, medicine, mail, car, truck, airplane, carseat, seatbelt, flowers, bubbles, home, nice, window, door, pillow, slide, awesome, bucket, toys, strong, box, blanket, tv, bed.

Phrases: Come mama, I see you, I love you, I love (papa/mama etc), I know, what's this, Hi (baby/mama etc), no ok, bless you, touch it, have it, good girl, good boy, good morning, careful (Eby/baby etc), hi five, oh yeah, oh boy, big girl, I sorry, excuse me, happy day, I got it, where are you (Sophia/mama/papa etc), I got your phone.

So yes, she's a bit of a talker :) Lucky for me it doesn't really matter that I did not teach her baby sign language, because she caught on to talking pretty fast. We almost always know what she wants. Along with knowing more actual words, she also talks a fair amount of babble. It's cute :)

And finally, Sophia's favorite things list: being outside, sitting in adult chairs or kid sized replicas, candy, opening mail, pointing out airplanes, climbing around in the car, pushing the doll stroller and playing in the water.

Happy 1.5 years baby girl. Here's to many more.